Tag: iPhone

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Leo Laporte explains the need for strong encryption

This is one of the best explanations I’ve heard for keeping our devices strongly encrypted. The video below starts at 29 minutes and 34 seconds in… He continues on the subject for several minutes, at least through 38:26.

You can’t lower your guard without lowering it for everyone.

And that’s the key.

When you reduce security, it’s not just for bad guys, and it’s not just the government that gets access to that. It’s everybody.

Well said, Leo.


iPhone 4S Siri Demonstration

Apple is introducing Siri on its iPhone 4S.

This is going to be really cool stuff. I just hope people don’t start wrecking their cars trying to press on that little microphone icon while driving… Yikes! People are already causing enough trouble just trying to text and drive. Maybe someone can invent a “driving mode…”

via Gizmodo and Stuff.tv:

Thoughts on Steve Jobs (1955-2011)

This is how I found out about Steve Jobs’ death this evening, on my iPhone:

Breaking News
Breaking News: Apple says Steve Jobs has died.

President Obama himself just released a statement that, among other things, said:

And there may be no greater tribute to Steve’s success than the fact that much of the world learned of his passing on a device he invented.

I’m glad I had enough presence of mind to snap that screenshot on the left. There’s just a bit of irony in that snap shot.

I don’t really know why I feel the need to type out a little blog post on Steve Jobs’ passing. I don’t consider myself the typical Apple “fanboy.” I do enjoy using my iPhone and an iPad, but I work on Windows servers and workstations. I am Microsoft Certified. I am playing with the developer preview of Windows 8. I’ve always been a “Microsoftie.” But… hold on… that’s not 100% true.

Back in the 80’s, before I became a full-fledged “Microsoftie,” I was an Amiga fanatic.

Those computing days in the 80’s were like the wild west of the tech days. To rip off a line from the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, by Douglas Adams, in those days, men were real men, women were real women, and small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri, were real small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri. At the time there were several different big names in the personal computer field, most of them big names who were famous for hardware development. IBM, Commodore, Apple, Tandy, and others, all mainly focused on hardware. No one really saw the benefit of software until Microsoft came along. What they sold was abstract. “An Operating System? License an Operating System? Why on earth would you want to do that? It’s just a bunch of 1’s and 0’s! The money’s in hardware!” Well, we see where that ended up. The one statement I would like to say about 80’s computing is this: We, as Americans, really like to romanticize when it comes to our history. Contrary to what Disney World and CNN will tell you it wasn’t “the solution comes in 1977 in of all places a garage in California.”  There was an awful lot of battling that went on in the 1980’s to gain control of the personal computer market, and Steve Jobs was only one of many major players.

My second computer was a Commodore 128 personal computer and when the time came for the next computer, it was clear where the market was headed. Bigger, faster, stronger… I had gone from a PC with 16K of memory to one with 128K of memory and it was only going up from there. The hardware life cycle had begun. I specifically remember picking apart a couple of editions of COMPUTE! magazines trying to decide what my computer was going to be. It had come down to a choice between an Apple IIGS and a Commodore-Amiga 2000. As I’ve previously mentioned, I ended up going the Amiga route. I was a big fan of Amiga computers from the beginning. It was intuitive. I’ve spoken about it before on my blog, so I won’t get into all of that again, but my point of saying all of that is to say this: Brand loyalty amongst technology enthusiasts is fervent. It’s almost religious, in a sense. I’ve often heard Apple fanatics referred to as a “cult” and I can see how that word applies. I always wanted to see the Amiga computer succeed because I knew how good the technology was. And I was truly getting sick of hearing about IBM and the clones and compatibles finally being able to do, in the 90’s, what the Amiga was doing in the 80’s. I guess you could say I could “Think Different,” I just did it differently.

Anyway, the Apple IIGS was the closest I got to buying an actual Apple product for the next 20 years. I had firmly sided in the Amiga camp in the late 80’s, and for most of the 2000’s was trying to avoid Apple products by fiddling with Windows-based music players. (By the way, does anyone remember “Plays For Sure?” Yeah, that didn’t work out. Probably because it very rarely “played at all.”) On December 15, 2008 I bought my first ever Apple product, an iPhone 3G. Even then I was leaning towards a Windows mobile phone because I wanted it to be Microsoft. I wanted Exchange syncing in particular. Once I learned the iPhone could do it, I relented.

I have been quite pleased with the way Apple products “just work.” I probably should have taken the hint from Douglas Adams back in 1989 when he wrote Frank the Vandal. Any computer guru who wants to know how regular people feel about computers should read that short story. My final thought is simply this: Steve Jobs and Apple struck gold with the iPod, the iPhone, and recently, the iPad. When the iPhone 4S ships in just a few days, it will be a success. The new features like Siri are great for sure, but keeping things simple and intuitive have been the keys to Apple’s success all along. Steve had a knack for figuring out exactly what people wanted before they even knew they wanted it. And it just worked.

I can’t tell you anything at all about another man’s soul. And I don’t want to think too hard “religiously” about this, but I truly hope that somehow, somewhere, Steve Jobs is having a great chat with Douglas Adams right now, and I’d love to hear that conversation!

I would also recommend this video that’s been quoted often this evening on television news. I’ve heard it several times before, but it has a new meaning for me tonight. This past weekend I received a quote which said “Focusing on the tiniest details, finding magic in even the smallest inspirations, embracing the briefest moments-that’s where passion is.” — from The Power of Small by Linda Thaier. I think Apple has dominated in finding magic in small inspirations, and as they continue on their quest to “Think Different” I wish them the best.

Computing, Technology

Friday’s iPhone 4 News Conference [Updated]

Speculation has been running rampant on the interwebs as to what Apple’s scheduled Friday news conference would be about.  A recall? Free bumpers? Admission of guilt (finally)? Gizmodo even has a play-along game for those so inclined.

I must say that I don’t have much of a problem with my iPhone 4.  It has never dropped a call.  I think if I try really, really hard, I might be able to drop a signal bar or two if I force the “death grip” on it.  But unless I really try hard, I have zero problems with the iPhone 4.

However, I do have a bone to pick with Apple.  It has nothing to do with the iPhone 4.  It’s my previous iPhone 3G that is now my wife’s phone.  They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so a YouTube video must be worth even more… I have this problem, described so eloquently in this video:

That about sums it up.  The iPhone 3G with iOS 4 is slow.  Very slow.  Almost unusable.  I may try to take it back to the previous OS soon.

By the way, I’m guessing that Apple will announce free bumpers today.  I have no first-hand knowledge, but knowing what a PR fiasco this has been, and knowing that a recall would cost major $$$ and cause every iPhone 4 owner to be without their device for x days — well, that just ain’t gonna happen.  It’s possible they may announce some kind of software fix for this problem, but I find it unlikely.  My money’s on free bumpers.  We’ll just have to wait and see.

Update: I was more or less right.  They are giving a free case to everyone who bought an iPhone.  According to Steve, they can’t make bumpers fast enough, so they will be sourcing more cases and starting next week, you’ll be able to apply online.  Also, if you bought a case from Apple, you’ll get a full refund.  This is how they should handle it.  Even if it’s been blown out of proportion, this is a good solution.


Is Apple starting to lose its ‘cool’?

I just don’t know about this one.  Well, actually I do know about it, and I think Apple has gone off the deep end.

If you are unaware of what’s going on, here’s a quick recap:

Apple has decided to attempt to enforce patents that have allegedly been infringed upon by competitor HTC.  A little more in depth background available here:

Apple sues HTC over iPhone patents (cnet)

Unfortunately, what’s really going on here is that Apple is just trying to obliterate the competition by suing them out of the smartphone business.  Apple has always been an innovative company.  More accurately, Apple has been a company that knows how to perfect a maturing technology.  They take a few disparate technologies (cell phone, MP3 player, GPS, e-mail, mobile web browser, etc.), throw them in one sleek box (iPhone), seal it tightly so that no one can jeopardize their OOBE, and charge a huge amount of money for the whole experience.  But the upshot of all this is that Apple moves the consumer market forward,  They make everyone else play catch-up.

And others are starting to catch up.  Windows Mobile should have had this market wrapped up several years ago.  They’ve been pushing smartphones for years but have always been just short of mass appeal.  In fact, my last two phones were both Windows Mobile based phones, one of which was the HTC S620.  Again, as a perfect example, the “HTC S620” did a lot of things quite well, but “HTC S620” just doesn’t sound nearly as sexy as the “iPhone.”  No fun = no sales.

Anyway, one article (and there are several) that shares my opinion of the lawsuits is available here:

Why Apple’s Really Suing HTC (PC World)

One nice way to try and get a grasp of how Steve Jobs’ mind works is to listen to what he has said over the years.  After listening to this quote from an old YouTube video, it sounds as if Steve has had expertise in this area before, but maybe on the other side of the fence:


Really, AT&T?

I received this in my e-mail this afternoon:


Really, AT&T? Just $9.99 per month? That’s it? Funny.  Google Voice provides this same service for free.  Of course, everything Google Voice provides is free.

You’d think, though, that for all the money I already give AT&T each month, that they’d give me a little something extra once in a while.

But, no.  Cool service, but I’m not paying extra for it.